[The Bush administration has wasted much public effort and money on half-baked efforts directed to American education at all levels that are now being viewed as both incompetent and destructive.Â Time to throw these incompetents out.Â The following was passed along by one of my CUNY colleagues.Â Ed Kent]
Mon May 21 07:47:05 2007 Pacific Time
St. Lawrence University President Blasts U.S. Education Secretary in Speech
CANTON, N.Y., May 21 (AScribe Newswire) — At its commencement ceremony held on Sunday, May 20, St. Lawrence University President Daniel F. Sullivan blasted U.S. Secretary of Education Margaret Spellings, calling a recent report issued by a commission she appointed “a national embarrassment.”
In his remarks before 551 graduates and their guests, Sullivan said that the education department is out of touch with what America wants and needs from its educated populace and lashed out at the Spellings’ proposed reforms.
“Almost every day we read in the newspaper of efforts by Spellings to dumb down the education for life we seek to provide at St. Lawrence and substitute something that is woefully inferior,” Sullivan stated.
He added that the report of the Commission on the Future of Higher Education (the “Spellings Commission”) was “meant to be a bold outline for how higher education in America should be reformed to meet the needs of students and the nation in the 21st century. Instead, it is in its major thrusts, in my view, a national embarrassment.”
Sullivan said, “The vision of higher education suggested in the report is a cafeteria ‘grab-and-go’ system about as far removed from intentional, serious, dedicated and demanding study as one can get. And in the entire document, the word ‘faculty’ is used only once, in an aside, as if the future strength and vitality of the nation’s professoriate were somehow irrelevant to creating and sustaining excellent higher education in the 21st century.”
He also said, “Spellings is today engaged in an attempt to replace the national system of voluntary peer-reviewed accreditation where performance is measured against each college or university’s mission, goals and objectives, with a one-size-fits-all federal government-constructed form of accreditation where institutional assessment, as in ‘No Child Left Behind,’ will be based on standardized test results. How embarrassing that the idealistic, inspiring and made-for-the-21st century-work kind of liberal education [provided at St. Lawrence] might be driven out by the model advocated by Spellings. If that happens, it will not only be disastrous for the individuals deprived of such an education, it will also be the end of U.S. global economic competitiveness.”
“A war is just if there is no alternative, and the resort to arms is legitimate if they represent your last hope.” (Livy cited by Machiavelli)
Ed KentÂ 718-951-5324 (voice mail only) [blind copies]